The chemistry of rhenium and technetium as related to the use of isotopes of these elements in therapeutic and diagnostic nuclear medicine

Int J Rad Appl Instrum B. 1986;13(4):465-77. doi: 10.1016/0883-2897(86)90027-9.


The beta emitting isotopes 186Re and 188Re are logical choices on which to base therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals that might be expected to be analogous to diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals based on 99mTc. However, the chemistry of rhenium is sufficiently different from that of technetium so that the development of Re radiopharmaceuticals often cannot be predicated on the known chemistry and biological behavior of 99mTc radiopharmaceuticals. The relevant chemical differences involve the greater stability of the higher oxidation states of Re (and thus the greater tendency of reduced Re radiopharmaceuticals to undergo re-oxidation to perrhenate), and the greater substitution inertness of reduced Re complexes. These differences are illustrated in the preparation and use of 186Re (Sn)-HEDP and 99mTc(Sn)-HEDP diphosphonate radiopharmaceuticals designed, respectively, for palliative therapy and diagnosis of metastatic cancer to bone, and in the preparation and biodistribution of tr[186Re(DMPE)2Cl2]+ and [186Re(DMPE)3]+, analogs to the potential myocardial perfusion imaging agents tr-[99mTc(DMPE)2Cl2]+ and [99mTc(DMPE)3]+. [HEDP = (1-hydroxyethylidene)diphosphonate; DMPE = 1,2-bis(dimethylphosphino)ethane].

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone and Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chemistry
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Radioisotopes / therapeutic use*
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Rhenium / therapeutic use*
  • Technetium / therapeutic use*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Radioisotopes
  • Rhenium
  • Technetium